“…‘How will they learn to read?’ you ask,
and my answer is ‘Remember the lessons of Massachusetts.’
When children are given whole lives
instead of age-graded ones in cellblocks,
they learn to read, write, and do arithmetic with ease,
if those things make sense in the kind of life that unfolds around them.”
– John Taylor Gatto
Emerson said, “The secret of education is respecting the pupil.”
- Do we respect a child who is full of wonder and energy when make them sit in a room, with the same kids, for the bulk of their childhood?
- Do we respect a child who is an individual that has strengths and weaknesses and expect them to learn at the same pace as everyone else, whether they soar or struggle?
- Do we respect a child who could easily ask hundreds of questions a day and tell them not to talk and only ask a question when their raised hand is given permission?
Think about it:
- How much from school do you really remember?
- How many facts were drilled into your head for the sake of passing a test?
- How much of what was required of you then do you really use now?
This is NOT an anti-education post, it is a real life education post. There are a lot of basics that need to be taught, and that takes discipline and some sitting still behind a book, but should that take the majority of their day? Yes, we need to know how to read, write and do math. History is crucial to knowing where you came from and and where you should be going. Science, geography, music and art have their place too, but most of this can be taught and retained better outside a classroom, or as Mr. Gatto calls it, a cell-block.
If you think about it, it really is a cell-block because you loose your freedom to learn. You are no longer an individual, you are a number among the masses, all moving at the same pace when given permission. And who is giving you permission to move? Who is telling you what you should learn and how you should learn?
Having already raised my children and homeschooling them, then to have little ones in the house again has made things even more obvious to me. With my first go-around with my older kids I was hoping I was right, and now I know with a stronger passion that I am right!
Our 6 year old little boy thinks out-loud, he asks questions from the time his eyes open until he hits his pillow at night. He walks by our side all day and spends tons of time with Jeff as he learns so much about real life; real life that consist of math and science. He is having his questions answered as his natural, God-given curiosity is peaked. His quest for knowledge is being satisfied as he sees the big picture and how it all relates to LIFE! He is learning math and science as he helps in the garden and helps Jeff in his shop. He walks around with his tape measure and measures EVERYTHING!
A real education is a constant lesson in the real world,
and we graduate only when we pass on to our eternal life!